Create your stories on the back of a moving caravan.
I am writing this on a moving caravan through the roads of northern Portugal.
I am on holiday with my family, and I have limited Internet access. Yet, I don’t want to pause my writing because of it. After a few days of working this way, I started noticing something: writing without Internet access is a completely different experience.
Internet access means more distractions
Usually, at home, I write while having solid Internet access. This is helpful because I can check virtually anything I think of, double-check facts, look for quotes to back up my ideas, or find other articles on the topic I am writing about.
While this is helpful, it is also a major source of distraction. Often, I google something and end up catching myself 30 minutes later looking at some weird page where people debate monkey’s reproductive life… when I had started by looking for a quote on the meaning of life!
We have all been there, right? But if we cannot control ourselves intrinsically, maybe we can force our monkey mind to control itself simply by not providing it with Internet access at all. We don’t get lost on the web simply because there is not even a web we can reach, to begin with.
No Internet means more focus on writing
When I write without Internet access, I focus on my writing. Nothing else. I develop my ideas and put them into words, all of which are carefully chosen. I don’t break my focus at each paragraph because I am looking for something. And I don’t have to work on focusing again after those minutes online looking for whatever it was, that I was looking for.
Writing without Internet access means focusing on your ideas, on what you have to say. Not on what everybody else already said about that topic. It’s about what you think, in your own words.
How to write offline
While writing offline works well for some articles, others turn out to be much poorer this way. Sometimes, what separates a good story from a great one is the extra quote from an established author or the details of the journey of that person you mention in your words. And you can’t know it all from the top of your head.
So write without Internet access, but edit with it. Jot down your ideas, let the flow take over, create the best piece you can, depending only on yourself.
And then, when you feel that part is done, turn on the Internet, and polish your story. Look for that quote, search for the true meaning of that word you are not sure about, find that scientific study that backs up your ideas.
Now, you have the best of both worlds. The best of your words with the power of the world backing them up.